An Easter morning killing was preceded by a warning from one attacker to the victim to buy a bulletproof vest, New Orleans police said in a warrant.
Authorities have arrested both of the men they believe were involved in shooting 34-year-old Arthur Victor III. But a defense attorney for one of the men argued in court Friday that a key police witness has offered shifting stories of the shooting.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested alleged triggerman Dolhman Brown Jr., 29, and his alleged accomplice Dewing Alveris, 26, at some point in the past few days.
Brown was taken to the Orleans Justice Center on Thursday, and Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell set his bail on a count of second-degree murder at $350,000 Friday morning. Alveris was still being booked into the jail Friday.
Police say Brown and Alveris knocked on the front door of 4205 Hamilton St., a double shotgun house on a quiet block facing the New Orleans Country Club, shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
A person who was inside the house with Victor said the pair went to the front door to see who was knocking, according to a warrant signed by Homicide Detective Ryan Vaught. Victor and the unnamed witness “peered through the peep hole and then opened the front door,” according to the warrant.
Two men walked into the house, according to the witness’s account given in the warrant. One of them was Alveris, whom the witness knew, and the other was a man the witness knew as his cousin “DJ.”
As Victor spoke to Alveris, the witness told police, “DJ” suddenly shot Victor from behind.
The witness ran from the house and notified authorities. Investigators said he or she was later able to pick out Brown as “DJ,” the shooter, from a photographic lineup.
The witness also told investigators, according to the warrant, that Alveris had warned the pair days earlier that they had “better have your bulletproof vest.” Police said they obtained a warrant for Alveris’ arrest as a principal to second-degree murder based on that threat and because he arrived at the house with Brown.
Authorities have not divulged a suspected motive in the killing of Victor, who according to an obituary was a laborer and the father of three children. His funeral was held Friday.
Brown’s attorney, J.C. Lawrence, argued in court Friday that the police witness “has come up with two different versions of the shooting.” Lawrence said the sequence of events he has read about in news accounts differs significantly from the one depicted in the warrant.
In a log of major offenses released on Sunday, the Police Department gave this version of the shooting: “The victim answered a knock at the door for a male who gave the name ‘Wayne.’ The subject opened fire, striking the victim several times.”
That telling seems to imply that “Wayne” — presumably a reference to Alveris — shot Victor near the door of the house. The Police Department has warned in the past, however, that the offense logs it releases to reporters represent only preliminary descriptions of crimes.
Lawrence said his client is a groundskeeper at the New Orleans Country Club and the father of three children.
He has no prior criminal convictions.
Lawrence and an assistant district attorney engaged in a lengthy conversation with Cantrell before Brown’s bail was set Friday.
Brown’s next court date is April 29.